PANArt was some time ago awarded U.S. Patent No. 8552279 and European Patent Nr. 2443625 covering methods of manufacturing metal sound instruments. If other manufacturers want to use this procedure, they can acquire a license. In this context, PANArt is offering a free sample material analysis.
The patent issued in the U.S.A. has been attacked by Pantheon Steel LLC, a company based in the U.S.A. that has been producing handpans since 2009. The re-examination of the patent has been carried out by the United States Patent and Trademark Office and terminated by July 2015. The patent has been confirmed in a slightly modified version.
The European patent has also been attacked. The objection was made by Pantheon Steel LLC, trading as Hanpan Makers United. On November 6th 2017, the European Patent Office has decided also in this case, similarly to the one in the U.S.A., to confirm the patent in a slightly modified form.
In 2018 PANArt will celebrate its 25th anniversary. From the first hammer blow up to today a whole range of instruments have been developed here at PANArt. There are different shapes and sounds. Our work is in a continuous flow. One thing, though, remained unchanged: the daily hammering as a tuning process.
During their work it showed up clearly to Sabina Schärer and Felix Rohner that there is the need for something more than just the art: a material that is suitable to be formed and stiffed with the hammer and in which high stresses can be introduced at the same time. Just as the sculptor needs high-quality stone and the painter needs vigorous pigments, the tuner needs a strong metal sheet in order to build instruments of a high quality.
This is how research joined in with art. On the quest for a good material a lot of time and effort have been invested since the 1980ies. A substantial number of procedures did not work or were not good enough and have been discarded. Of course, also a lot of money has flown into this research.
Endurance and conscientious research paid off in the end. Felix Rohner and Sabina Schärer have developed the Pang® Composite, a unique material that meets their expectations. The PANArt tuners have achieved with this their dream to strengthen up the otherwise weak sheet metal. The Hang® sculpture and the following Hang® Gubal and Hang® Bal together with the more elementary instruments like the Hang® Gudu, Hang® Gede, Hang® Urgu and Hang® Godo are the results on the basis of this material.
Over the years the shape of the Hang sculpture has been copied numerous times. Those newborn instruments gathered under the general term of handpan. It is surely not exaggerative when we say that there would be no handpans and no handpan builders without the Hang sculpture.
The Hang sculpture, however, would not exist without the research and development of the Pang Composite. It would not have worked with a weak sheet metal. The Hang sculpture has touched people all over the world in different ways because those sculptures are strong and of high quality in their own way. Their strength came from the hammer and the Pang metal sheet.
Are you a tuner, building handpans and other instruments?
Perhaps you are interested in strengthening up your metal sheets with our patented procedure. You can use our patented method for your raw shells by acquiring a license.
Are you uncertain if your own material infringes the patent and the rights of PANArt?
Not each form of nitriding automatically infringes the patent. We are aware that some handpan builders have been quite doubtful if they infringe or not because they were not able to evaluate their material.
PANArt is offering an analysis of your raw shells free of charge. We will have your samples analyzed in a specialized institute and will let you know the results.
If this analysis shows that your material infringes the patent, you have the possibility to acquire a license contract. In this way, you can go on with your work with peace of mind and without insecurities if you infringe the rights of PANArt or not.
For more information, please contact licenses[at]panart.ch.